It’s Time: Our Community Roles & Descriptions Need Updating

TL;DR: With our new community model and increasing opportunities for collaboration, it’s time to update our community role descriptions. We need your feedback to make sure they reflect the real roles & responsibilities our community relies on in order to achieve our mission.

Why do we need community role descriptions anyway?

The OpenMRS mission is:

  • “a coordinated community,
  • creating and maintaining a robust, scalable platform.”

As more and more organizations and individuals come to our community to achieve our product vision together, our success when it comes to coordinating and collaborating with each other on shared assets relies on clear, agreed upon roles and responsibilities.

About our community roles on our Wiki……

We have community roles and development roles available on the OpenMRS Wiki. The problem? The roles described on our Wiki no longer reflect the roles we see actively filled in our community, and more specifically, in our squads.

In the last 18 months, we’ve seen squad after squad relying on a few similar roles to get the work done. For successful squads, these roles are filled by a balance of organization & community support.

It’s time to update our community roles on the Wiki so that it reflects our community’s current structure and our shared roles & responsibilities. With updated role descriptions, we can

  • Recognize committed individuals and organizations by giving them a role commensurate with their contributions
  • Help organizations identify roles that are aligned with their priorities - and that they might support or sponsor
  • Give organizations & OpenMRS Inc a shared language that can be used to coordinate work and recruitment, inform proposals, scope negotiations, budgets, and budget narratives
  • Communicate a clear professional pathway for newcomers and community members
  • Link stage advancement and fellowships to specific roles

What community roles are we talking about?

We’ve observed that organizations tend to fill critical squad roles like technical architect, developer, product owner, product manager, or subject matter expert/advisor. To support these squads, OpenMRS Inc focuses on providing community-based resources who give essential support & assistance in product management, community management, quality assurance, and architect/developer mentors to build technical & non-technical capacity.

Here are the roles in a nutshell:

What happens now

We start updating the role descriptions for essential roles where talent gaps threaten our pace & progress, specifically towards our product vision. Hint: it’s around architecture/engineering.

@grace has been diving into Architect role descriptions. Keep an eye out for her posts about this role and give us your feedback!

And after that? Once we have general community consensus on these roles as described, we can start having conversations around how we sustainably fill these roles together as a community.


Thanks @jennifer for the initiative to seeing our community Roles and Descriptions are up-to-date.

Waiting for the post from @grace concerning the Architect role descriptions and perhaps give feedback.

Architect role descriptions (as discussed and reviewed on public TAC calls) now posted here: Architect Roles across OpenMRS